A marketing company in Japan is giving heartsick employees a break. Hime & Company allows its workers paid time off after a bad break-up with a partner. Hime’s novel move has captured headlines around the world because it comes at a time when a growing number of employers are painting time off as an unwarranted luxury in the highly-competitive world of business.
But think about it! Hime’s idea might not be either soft-hearted or soft-headed. The company of six women markets cosmetics and other products for the female market. Arguably, the move could be a good business decision for a company of this size and type. Ranking heartache with physical ailments acknowledges that the condition is debilitating enough to take a toll on productivity. As the company puts it, the time off allows staff to cry themselves out and return to work refreshed. This is another way of saying, “… get over the ailment and return to work recovered enough to be productive again.”
Hime allows more heartache leave, as needed, to its older employees. Aged 24 years or younger, employees can take one day off per year. The 25- to 29-year-olds can take two days off. The 30 and older workers can take three days off.
"Not everyone needs to take maternity leave but with heartbreak, everyone needs time off, just like when you get sick," CEO Miki Hiradate, explained in a January interview with Reuters. "Women in their 20s can find their next love quickly, but it’s tougher for women in their 30s, and their break-ups tend to be more serious," she said, explaining the difference in time allowed for different age groups.
If Himes’ idea increases the overall productivity and efficiency of its workforce, it could even be regarded as an ergonomic workplace solution. That would increase its chances of catching on, even in an unfriendly climate for time off.